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How to Overcome Love Addiction -
5 Core Issues to Address


Jim Hall MS, Love Addiction Specialist - Relationship Coach

This article describes what I believe are the five vital core issues on how to overcome love addiction in treatment for love addicts and anxiously attached. 




People looking for the answers to overcoming their love addiction often ask a similar question: “How to get over love addiction and what are the key issues I need work on to heal, become more secure, and change unhealthy relationship patterns"?


When we are new to recovery, we may mistakenly believe that recovery is limited to ‘getting over a bad break up’... then moving on to find the right partner.

The reality is-- unless we do the work required for healthy change, the same old relationship patterns will absolutely repeat themselves.

Finding the “right person” to love you will not work; because your ‘radar’ will continue to attract unhealthy partners that are avoidant, selfish, or narcissistic.

We have to stop the lie we have bought into when the ‘perfect one’, ‘Superman’ or ‘Wonder Woman’ comes along, things will be fine. Do not fool yourself.

No one is going to make you happy until you ‘get’ happy internally and gain the awareness you need. Furthermore, while surviving the withdrawal from a break-up or divorce of a bad relationship plays a critical role, it is just one of the pieces of a bigger puzzle.

We need to fix ourselves. But this doesn't mean you are broken. You are not broken.

The fixing has to do with needing to destroy the false beliefs and distortions and rules we’ve lived with that has caused too much pain, confusion, and loneliness in our--- then we will realize and appreciate ourselves for who we are, as well as our romantic relationships which enhance our lives, instead of sabotaging our lives.

So what are some core issues that love addicts can deal with to assist overcoming this sinister dependency to “love”?


What areas can you address to help you establish happy and satisfying love in our lives?


Answer: Obsessive love addiction is caused primarily by what is underneath— that is, the underlying core symptoms that lead us to a compulsive dependency of a person in relationships.

I write a lot in my book The Love Addict in Love Addiction, about these key core symptoms/characteristics that, from my experience, should be tackled in order to provide the best possibility of recovering- effectively and successfully.

When we come to the point of resolving most, if not all, of these primary issues-  a future of experiencing a gratifying and fulfilling romantic relationship, unlike those from the past, are conceivable.


Addressing these 5 key issues will help propel love addicts in their treatment and recovery over love addiction and insecure attachment patterns:


1. Fear of abandonment… one of the love addict's greatest fears and emotional triggers in relationships.


2. Denial… love addicts enter relationships in denial- denial of their partner‘s reality, the relationship, and the self. When this denial begins to crumble within a relationship or after a breakup, this is when withdrawal symptoms will occur.


3. Impaired Self Worth-Toxic Shame… with internal feelings of shame carried from childhood, love addicts have difficulty validating their inherent value and worth, have a distorted reality and carry false beliefs about themselves and about love & intimacy; problems of anger, isolation, depression.

Some signs and characteristics of self-esteem and insecurity issues might include:

* Perfectionism
* Placating
* Caretaking
* Rescuing
* Fear of intimacy (above)
* Rejecting someone who wants to get close
* Enabler
* Martyr
* Victim


4. Unrealistic expectations… love addicts go into relationships with unrealistic expectations that no one can live up to, even their avoidant partner.

Because the love addict has difficulty meeting his or her own needs --- the unrealistic expectations that one person will meet all of their needs; to take care of them emotionally, physically, or financially--- to fill their inner void, take away their fears, anxieties, and unbearable feelings of shame and low self-esteem away... it consumes them.

They tend to expect one person to be completely at their disposal and expect more from a relationship than any relationship can deliver. They fall for the Hollywood-inspired fantasy that their perfect lover should love me no matter what.

Then when their partner fails to meet these expectations, they feel betrayed, frustrated, angry; and eventually, form a conclusion that the expectations aren’t being met because they’ve done something wrong- they turn it on themselves.

5. Boundary impairment… love addicts enter relationships with invisible boundaries- this can be displayed by tolerating intolerable behaviors form another person; being too open in the initial stages of meeting someone; smothering their partner; making demands; extreme neediness.

Boundary impairment is also apparent by the difficulty of identifying their right to have one’s own opinions, beliefs, and feelings; including protecting the ‘self’ with healthy personal boundaries.


Here is the thing my friend, the problem is NOT about your partner... the problem is these core issues that have fueled most of us into our toxic dependency.

Most of us have grown up in a dysfunctional family dynamic or have had traumatic or abusive experience is also likely to foster this problem of loving obsessively.

We need to understand where our love-addicted issues came from and to identify false beliefs about ourselves and relationships that continue to foster dysfunctional patterns.

If we do not examine why we think, feel, and choose the things we have, recovery is unlikely to succeed. When we come to recognize and clearly identify them, we become more able to let them go through the treatment process and become more able to establish healthy behaviors.

We become able to establish healthy boundaries, express them clearly, how and when to share appropriately, be accountable, and express authentic love.

We need to learn how to hug our feelings and emotions instead of ignoring, minimizing, or beating ourselves up for having feelings.

When we can learn to honor, embrace our emotions, and listen to the message that each emotion carries, we can begin to reverse our self-critic and dependency on others.

With time, patience, and commitment to changing for the better, we can learn other behavioral options from which to choose instead of being locked into old, dysfunctional familiar patterns.

The addiction to love is an insidious and cunning disorder.


Despite this, there is hope… there is a way out!

About Author: Jim Hall MS, is a Love Addiction Specialist, Online Relationship Coach, and Author of 3 Books on Love Addiction and Recovering. As a leading relationship expert, Jim gives hope to those struggling with love addiction and insecure attachment styles-  offering quality guidance towards a healthy path to break obsessive love patterns and healing from love withdrawal caused by a breakup. - more about Jim

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